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No cc days

January 4th, 2006 at 08:11 am

I still don't believe in the cold turkey/complete abstinence theory as far as credit card use.

Sometimes it just makes sense to charge a purchase, for example, if you're buying an expensive appliance and putting it on a cc doubles the manufacturer's warranty.

Sometimes it's just the practical thing to do in an emergency. If I don't have ready cash for $844 in car repairs, there is no way I can leave one or both of our cars in the shop while we get rides to work from friends, or take public transportation, or wait for vo-tech students do the repairs. (The kind of thing the author Jerrold Mundis would suggest.) I'm sorry, but putting the repairs on a 0% credit card makes a lot more sense to me than completely disrupting our lives for several weeks.

OTOH, it felt good to be starting fresh on New Year's Day, with a clean slate. It seems like the time to try something new, and I decided it would be interesting to see how many days I could avoid using a credit card. So far, so good. I've switched my Netflix billing to the debit card on my little checking account. I'll be moving the newspaper billing to that, too. I ordered myself a DVD for my birthday, and was able to use Paypal. I had to buy a new toaster, and used a debit card.

This morning while I was waiting for a phone call, I played around on Quicken to see how much I used ccs last year. I made 241 purchases on them, about one every day and a half! The total amount of purchases came to over $11,000. At this point, I'm feeling very lucky our total cc debt is about the same as a year ago. It's a miracle it didn't go much higher.

I don't believe cutting down on cc use is going to solve all our financial problems. I'm not really sure that our spending will go down enough to counteract the loss of $300 from the Citi rewards program. But it can't hurt to try and see what happens. At the very least, our debt won't grow, and that's something.

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